Back in late September when I had a bit of a life crisis and subsequent life laundry, I amazingly managed to convince myself that, after 16 years, I didn’t need two guitars and that perhaps the band wasn’t ever going to get back together.
I worked all the summer of ’91 in a chip shop in Lyme Regis to buy that electric guitar and amp. Grunge was around at the time and everyone seemed to be forming bands, arguing about names and having musical differences, normally all in the same afternoon. I only ever played one gig in front of a paying audience. It was at Munroe’s, a shitty nightclub behind the market in Stockport and I think my mum actually dropped me off in her mini metro – ROCK! We were on a stage 6″ high, but when you’re ‘up there’ facing 30 or so faces it feels like you’re standing on the white cliffs of Dover. We were the support act to the support act, The main act was a band called MrMeaner, (you can read about the gig here). The guy who printed the flyers didn’t know what we were called, and so as he knew the drummer’s name he christened us ‘The Steve Chapman Experience’. Our set list consisted of L7‘s Pretend We’re Dead I think, and some Nirvana covers.
Anyway, that was all a long time ago and it’s time to move on. So I took my two guitars to The Doghouse, which is a small guitar and skateboard shop attached to Antenna Studio’s here in Crystal Palace, where I said a very emotional goodbye. Johnny, a really nice guy who also makes custom Dickinson Amps offered a part exchange for a single new acoustic. It has a much better sound, but being brand new and made in China the fret board smelt of fish (the glue I think) for the first couple of weeks until, um, dirt, finger skin and sweat ‘seasoned’ the board.
And so to today, like a divorced Dad with visiting rights, I went back to Antenna to check up on them. Johnny’s done a great job cleaning them up and restringing them. I’m hoping some 16 year old kid looking to buy his first guitar comes in to the shop clutching some hard earned savings and a dream of being in a band and buys it, or it could be yours for £150.